Another a prize winner said "I consider these competitions a most excellent means of: first, helping to prove to the sceptic and others the Truth and Utility of Astrology, and second of helping to expand and improve one's own judgement and knowledge of this sublime subject" MA , 8, Such popularity, maintained over nine years, is not in evidence today, for example see Astro sleuthing contests on this website under Doing Scientific Research. Outcomes After the twentieth competition, the outcomes were reviewed by Leo under the heading "The Case for Astrology" MA , 11, He begins:.
Richard Garnett in the year contributed to the University Magazine an article under the pseudonym of A. Trent anagram on Garnett , entitled "The Soul and the Stars. It dealt with certain simple astrological generalisations and cited instances from famous people not then living. For that reason it seems to the present writer that the series of "Prize Competitions " published in Modern Astrology during the years to , furnishes an even better prima facie case.
Leo stresses how the subjects were unknown to the delineators and also to himself , and how the best delineations were chosen by the subject "usually with the aid of one or two personal friends to assist in the task of adjudication. The delineations were thus subjected to the test of consonance with fact , and not merely technical proficiency.
Leo then notes how the subjects found judgement "exceedingly difficult by reason of the striking general correctness of some three or four delineations. It would seem impossible for a sceptic to read these adjudications seriatim [ie one after another] without coming to the conclusion that Astrology was grounded on truth. Another point of evidential value is the fact that the prize-winners were different people. For it excludes even the rather forced explanation that might have been brought forward had the delineations all been the work of one man: namely, that the man in question had some peculiar divinatory gift, and that his ability to exercise this gift was in itself no proof of Astrology, since there was no necessary connection between the two.
Whatever one might think of such a hypothesis in the case supposed, it is inadmissible here. His production-line horoscopes, launched in but discontinued in due to rip-off imitations, consisted of a pre-printed sheet for each chart factor. His ads offered a refund if the horoscope was not true, and in the first three years more than 20, were sent out with no reported requests for refunds. By he had received about 20, testimonials to the accuracy of his horoscopes, whose existence was cited as a defence in his prosecution on a charge of fortune telling which was dismissed because Leo had been overseas at the time.
After the court case, forty of these testimonials were reprinted in a six-page Personal Testimonies supplement to MA , 11 8 , under the heading "The Truth in Astrology". Dated between and , they say things like:. Subjects' comments Almost as glowing were the sentiments expressed by the subjects of the prize competitions.
Of their delineations they said things like:. In the following issue Leo stressed how astrology was a scientific undertaking and did not require any sort of psychic ability: "Now while I am in sympathy with the practice of the "occult arts," by those who are genuine practitioners, I must separate Astrology from Palmistry, and psychic methods of divination.
Astrology does not depend upon any psychic powers of divination, but upon pure intellect and the judgment of nativities, and therefore stands alone at present as a practical study based upon mathematics, dealing with the influences outside the human being as well as his response within. Astrologers are not working on psychic lines, and they therefore stand apart from divination and all those methods which at present are not considered scientific" MA , 11, Proof of astrology?
On the face of it, therefore, astrology required no special gifts save the ability to calculate a chart, and its indications received rave acceptance even when scrutinised in depth as in the prize competitions. To Alan Leo this was irrefutable proof of its truth. But as we now know, precisely the same rave acceptance occurs when people are given identical Barnum statements disguised as their horoscope see What tests are easy? Gauquelin's ad in the magazine Ici Paris for 16 April offering a free horoscope in return for date and place of birth.
It attracted over respondents, to each of which Gauquelin sent a copy of a page interpretation of the mass murderer Dr Petiot's birth chart pretending it was their own. The interpretation had been generated by an IBM computer programmed by France's leading astrologer Andre Barbault, and said things like "instinctive warmth Gauquelin enclosed an SAE and asked for comments.
The respondents were generally delighted and impressed by the interpretation. They said things like "marvellous The waters are further muddied by the non-blind pre-selection of delineations, and by many of the subjects being interested in astrology some were even students of astrology , so their assessments could have been biassed by knowing what their chart was supposed to mean.
In at least one case of the latter Competition 3 the subject discredited any interpretation that disagreed with his own, for example Venus in 12th did not mean unfortunate love affairs but "control of the passions by the higher faculties". In other words the perceived accuracy and truth, although seemingly irrefutable proof to Alan Leo, are actually useless as a measure of genuine accuracy and truth. The same applies to the 20, testimonials, just as it applies to the 35, testimonials in favour of phrenology shown in the picture below.
To properly assess the accuracy and truth of astrology requires controlled matching tests of the kind described on this website in Artifacts in data and Case for and against astrology , which tests did not become established in astrology until half a century after Leo's death. On the left is a picture of the head divided into phrenological faculties. On the right is a sign announcing 35, testimonials for phrenology, whose claims are now known to be completely false.
Could 35, people be wrong? Could their testimonials be largely meaningless? Yes to both. Example of a winning delineation Although the delineations are of little value in assessing the truth of astrology, they are of interest as examples of chart readings involving now-outmoded classical concerns such as appearance, short journeys, and legacies, and the subjects' reactions to them. The following example delineation was winner of the first competition and has the advantage of being briefer than most. Leo comments that the "delineation, though brief, is succinct and telling, and is said by the native himself to be recognised as a good description by those who know him well.
Suffice to say that the prize-winner had no possible means of discovering his tastes or character except such as the horoscope afforded, and that even now she is quite ignorant of his name. This delineation therefore forms in itself a remarkable vindication of the claims of Astrology as regards the study of character and temperament. The winning delineation starts by noting how Uranus in 3rd house is opposite the mental rulers in 9th house, which factor then dominates the delineation, especially the first two paragraphs. The parts that the native and his friends rated as inaccurate are shown in italics.
Originality, versatility, genius are conferred by this position of Uranus, to which the native has added a vivid imagination, but he will be unlucky in the expression of his opinions, his views will not bc popular and he will suffer much opposition on the score of his religious views. Many means of success are open to him, literature, music, science, politics, but he will not confine himself to one occupation. It seems probable that literature will play a prominent part in his life, and as there are indications of his deep interest in occult or psychological matters his pen may be employed on such subjects.
His is not a lucky horoscope, there are many bad aspects and the lord of his ascendant [Mercury] is much afflicted [square Neptune and opposite Jupiter and Uranus].
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He will suffer and live more in the mind than the emotions. Leo added "In the face of these admissions, we think our readers will agree with us that the result of the Prize Competition No 1 has been eminently satisfactory. By way of encouragement to the diffident among our readers, we may mention that the prize-winner sent in her delineation with many apologies for venturing the attempt, being 'only a beginner'! Nevertheless, despite her modesty, the winner Mrs Beatrice Avery of Warrington near Liverpool was also a prize-winner in the third competition, so for the present purpose her skills can hardly be doubted.
Examples of errors and disagreements Beginning with the ninth competition, Leo had the subjects insert a symbol o , ', '', ''' after each statement in a delineation to denote it as either remarkably true , quite right , incorrect , or doubtful. Here are three examples from the ninth competition:.
The total number of inserted symbols was generally between 20 and But only the winning delineations were published, they were rarely organised under any sort of headings such as mentality or career , and they are still too wordy to be easily compared, even though their length typically words is not excessive by today's standards. Furthermore, on inspection remarkably true tends to be applied to statements that anyone could make given that the subject was a person of achievement, for example "engaged in some artistic or literary occupation" or "an uncommon mind" or "a refined taste".
Or they tend to be applied to statements that are decidedly Barnum, for example "mind experiences conflict between mystical order and physical limitations" or "fortunate and unfortunate elements mingle in questions of marriage" or "practical where money is concerned except when swayed by feelings". A much better feeling for what is happening is given by those cases where the subjects themselves have surveyed the errors and disagreements of all entries, as in the following examples.
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Where needed the excerpts have been slightly abridged to maintain the thread and improve readability:. Competition 2. Marion Holmes, author and founder of Woman's Suffrage Association: "The marriage is not as indicated in the horoscope and has been practically without a cloud.
No competitor mentioned my love for little children -- it is really one of the strongest features of my character -- nor that my life from 32 to last year [age 38] was crammed full of sorrow. Here Leo adds a footnote pointing out that during this period, progressed Sun was opposite progressed Saturn. Competition 3. Anonymous author of occult works: "One competitor sends a very detailed delineation, with quite definite statements, the only fault of which is that they are almost wholly incorrect!
This competitor also gives me several children, and a materialistic turn of mind. Nature has not. Competition 7. Thomas Maybank, Punch artist: "My marriage seems to be a very unfortunate affair in the opinion of nearly every competitor. My wife is stated to be proud, overbearing and quarrelsome, and altogether I have a very unhappy time of it.
One delineation also saw him as markedly deficient in humour. Competition 8. Allen Upward, author: "the delineations are most divergent from each other, and from the truth, [when] dealing with the physical appearance and constitution of the native, producing the effect of bad guesswork. When they approach the questions of character and temperament they tend to agree with each other, and with the facts. Most of the competitors have exaggerated my interest in the occult.
The statement that I have suffered from lawsuits and loans has no foundation in fact. Competition 9. Arthur Mee, astronomer, age 48, also a keen student of astrology. A year earlier his letter in the magazine English Mechanic , noting that conflicting opinions about astrology demanded "an investigation -- a test Mere argument is wholly beside the point", had led to the debate with astronomers as summarised on this website in Evolution of claimed evidence for astrology. I hate taking medicine, have a strong sense of humour, and not the remotest intention of becoming a recluse.
For instance, some give Saturn in first house, others Venus in twelfth house, though her longitude is greater than Saturn's. Some give Uranus in the ninth, others in the tenth. Jupiter is usually given as eleventh house, though he bas some claim to the twelfth. Other points might be named; and I should like some competent opinion on this vexed question of orbs. I note with interest that one or two competitors hardly use the houses at all in aiming at their judgments.
Competition Frederick James, age 50, composer and music teacher: "How can there exist a reliable method of arriving at results when one competitor states that my early life was spent in congenial surroundings, and another asserts quite the opposite? Again, some competitors see my married partner as a paragon of virtues, while at least one other sees the opposite. Farther, several competitors allude to my fondness for travel, to my great business capacities, to stomach troubles, to an innate love of the drama, and to a connection with the occult sciences.
Charming though the above characteristics may be, they have never belonged to me. The allusions in several instances to great wealth which I shall accumulate, and also to legacies which are due to me, are very cheering. But I have not suffered much from those ailments. Mr James also refers to phrenology: "Regarding travel, several phrenologists of acknowledged ability have told me that of all the occupations which nature has designed me for, that of a navigator or explorer is foremost.
However, I am too nervous to trust myself on a steamer, even to the Isle of Man! In Hellenistic, Vedic , Medieval and Renaissance astrology each house is ruled by the planet that rules the sign on its cusp.
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For example, if a person has the sign Aries on the cusp of their 7th house, the planet Mars is said to "rule" the 7th house. This means that when a planet is allotted a house, the planet's attributes will have some bearing on the topics related to that house within the life of the individual whose chart is being analyzed. This planet is considered very important for events specifically pertaining to that house's topics; in fact, its placement in the chart will have at least as much influence on the chart as the planets placed within the house.
For instance, Mars is ruler of the 1st house because it rules Aries, the first sign; Mercury rules or has an affinity with the 3rd house because it rules Gemini, the 3rd sign; etc. This concept is sometimes referred to as "natural rulership," as opposed to the former which is known as "accidental rulership.
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Physical appearance, traits and characteristics. First impressions. General outlook into the world. Beginnings and initiatives. Material and immaterial things of certain value.
Belongings, property, acquisitions. Cultivation and growth. Early education and childhood environment. Neighborhood matters. Short, local travel, and transportation. Ancestry, heritage, roots.
Early foundation and environment. Mother or mothers as figure. The caretaker of the household. Cyclic end of matters. Recreational and leisure activities. Things which makes for enjoyment and entertainment. Games and gambling. Love and romance. Creative self-expression. Routine tasks and duties. Skills or training acquired. Jobs and Employments. Health and overall well-being. Service performed for others. Pets and small domestic animals. Close, confidante-like relationships.
Marriage and business partners. Agreements and treaties. Matters dealing with diplomatic relations of all kinds, including open known enemies. Attraction to qualities we admire from the other partner. Cycles of Deaths And Rebirth. Sexual relationships and deeply committed relationships of all kinds. Joint funds, finances. Other person's resource. Occult, psychic and taboo matters. Foreign travel and foreign countries.
Long distance travels and journeys. Law and ethics. Higher education. Experience through expansion. Status in society. Father or father figure.
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The breadwinner of the household. Friends and acquaintances of like-minded attitudes. Groups, clubs and societies. Higher associations. Benefits and fortunes from career. Desires, hopes, and wishes. Mysticism and mystery. Places of seclusion such as hospitals, prisons and institutions, including self-imposed imprisonments.
Things which are not apparent to self, yet clearly seen by others. Elusive, clandestine, secretive or unbeknownst matters. Privacy, retreat, reflection, and self-sacrifice. Unknown enemies. Railroads, tramways, omnibuses, traction of all sorts, locomotion, telephone, aircraft, canals, bridges and transports as well as postal service and all means of communication. Real estate, land explorations, mines, developments, crops, produce of raw material from the soil. Foodstuffs, clothing, equipment, outfitting supplies, upholstering, furnishings, building and upfitting.
Accountancy, banking, corporations, exchanges, contracts, equity, discounting, surveying, valuations, probate, etc. Waste products, conservancy, dredging, petrol, parafine, benzine, medical accessories, chemicals and nitrates. Along great circles containing the celestial poles. East Point Equatorial Ascendant. Along great circles containing the ecliptic poles. Along great circles containing the North and south points of the Horizon.